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Full text of "The German Armored Division"

U.S. War Dept. General Staff, G-2. 

The German armored division.. c 1942:) 

UNCLASSIFIED 

REGRADED BY AUTHORITY 



BY. 




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MILITARY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE 
INFORMATION BULLETIN NO. 18 



WAR DEPARTMENT • WASHINGTON, D. C. 



Military Intelligence Service Information Bulletin 

War Department No. 18 

Washington, June 15, 1942 MIS 

NOTICE 

1. Information Bulletins, which have replaced Tentative Lessons Bulletins, 
have a dual purpose: (1) To provide all officers with reasonably confirmed 
information from official and other reliable sources, and (2) to serve as mate- 
rial for lectures to troops. 

2. Nondi visional units are being supplied with copies on a basis similar to 
the approved distribution for divisional commands, as follows: 

Inf. Div. Cav. Div. Armd. Div. 

Div. Hq 8 Div. Hq 4 Div. Hq 1 

Ren. Troop 1 Ord. Co 1 Ren. Bn 

Sig. Co 1 Sig. Troop 1 Engr. Bn 

Engr. Bn 1 Ren. Sq 1 Med. Bn 

Med. Bn 1 Engr. Sq 1 Maint. Bn 

QM Bn: 1 Med. Sq 1 Supply Bn 

Hq. Inf. Regt., 1 ea_ 3 QM Sq 1 Div. Train Hq 

Inf. Bn., 1 ea 9 Hq. Cav. Brig., 2 ea. 4 Armd. Regt., 4 ea___ 8 

Hq. Div. Arty 1 Cav. Regt., 4 ea 16 FA Bn., 1 ea 3 

FA Bn., 1 ea 4 Hq. Div. Arty 1 Inf. Regt 4 

— FA Bn., 1 ea 3 ' — 

30 — 32 

34 

Distribution to air units is being made by the A-2 of Army Air Forces. An 
additional distribution is being made to the armored forces, tank destroyer 
battalions, and antitank units. 

3. Each command should circulate available copies among its officers. 
Reproduction within the military service is permitted provided (1) the source 
is stated, (2) the classification is not changed, and (3) the information is 
safeguarded. Attention is invited to paragraph 10a, AR 380-5 which is 
quoted in part as follows: "A document . . . will be classified and . . . 
marked restricted when information contained therein is for official use 
only, or when its disclosure should be . . . denied the general public." 

4. Suggestions for future bulletins are invited. Any correspondence 
relating to Information Bulletins may be addressed directly to the Dissemina- 
tion Branch, Military Intelligence Service, War Department, Washington, D. C. 



II 



Foreword 



This bulletin is a translation of a captured German training 
manual on The German Armored Division, which was pub- 
lished in December 1940. At that time the number of German 
armored divisions was being increased and their organization 
changed. Comments by German commanders in Libya as late as 
October 1941 indicate, however, that the principles expressed in 
this manual have proved satisfactory with little or no modification. 

The charts that follow have been added to the original German 
manuscript. They have been compiled from G-2 sources. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



Paragraphs Page 

Chapter 1. Characteristics and organization 1-5 1 

Chapter 2. Role of the armored division 6-12 2 

Chapter 3. Employment of the armored division 13-23 4 

Chapter 4. Components of the armored division 24-55 9 

Section I. Tank brigade 24-31 9 

II. Motorized infantry brigade 32-37 10 

III. Artillery regiment 38-40 , 11 

IV. Antitank battalion 41-44 12 

V. Armored engineer battalion 45-48 13 

VI. Armored signal battalion 49-52 14 

VII. Light antiaircraft battalion 53-55 15 

Chapter 5. Reconnaissance 56—74 16 

Section I. General 56-57 16 

II. Air reconnaissance 58-64 i6 

III. Motorized reconnaissance battalion 65-68 17 

IV. Unit combat reconnaissance 69—71 18 

V. Cooperation between air and ground recon- 
naissance 72-74 19 

Chapter 6. Movement 75-98 20 

Section I. General 75-84 20 

II. March organization 85-91 22 

III. Security on the move 92-98 24 

Chapter 7. Deployment 99-102 26 

Chapter 8. Attack 103-143 27 

Section I. General 103-107 27 

II. Conduct of the attack 108-126 28 

III. Attack from an assembly position 127-143 33 

Chapter 9. Pursuit 144-149 37 

Chapter 10. Defense 150 38 

Chapter 11. Withdrawal from action 151-154 39 

Chapter 12. Special conditions 155-165 40 

Section I. Attack against a permanently fortified posi- 
tion 155-156 40 

II. Attack across a river 157-159 41 

III. Fighting in built-up areas 160 42 

IV. Fighting in woods and mountains 161 42 

V. Fighting in smoke and fog 162-165 43 

Chapter 13. Rest 166-168 44 

Chapter 14. Services 169-183 45 



IV 



GERMAN TANKS 





MARK I TANK 

Length: 12 ft. 6 in. 
Width: 8 ft. 
Height: 5 ft. 7 in. 



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~i — 



TANK HUNTER 
47-mm antitank gun 
mounted in chassis 
of Mark I tank 




MARK II TANK 
Length: 15 ft. 4 in. 
Width: 7 ft. 2 in. 
Height: 6 ft. 5 in. 




-1 



ASSAULT GUN 
75-mm gun mounted in 
chassis of Mark III 
tank 





MARK III TANK 
Length: 17 ft. 8 in. 
Width: 9 ft. 9 in. 
Height: 7 ft. 9 in. 



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3 MARK IV TANK 
Length: 19 ft. 2 in. 
) Width: 9 ft. 5 in. 



Height: 8 ft. 7 in. 



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VIII 



THE GERMAN ARMORED DIVISION 



Chapter 1 

CHARACTERISTICS AND ORGANIZATION 

1. The armored division is intended for strategic roles. It 
combines great fire power with high mobility, and its armor and 
speed restrict the effectiveness of enemy weapons. 

2. Its strength lies in attack. It is especially suited for surprise 
appearances on the battlefield, rapid concentration of considerable 
fighting power, obtaining quick decisions by break-throughs, deep 
penetrations on wide fronts, and the destruction of the enemy. 
The attack of the armored division has a serious effect on the 
enemy's morale. 

3. The nature of the terrain is a decisive factor for successful 
employment of the armored division. Full use of its speed can be 
insured by choice of good roads with bridges of adequate capacity, 
and by their being kept clear of other troops. Speed across 
country depends upon weather, formation of the ground, nature 
of the soil, and density of vegetation. It is slower than on roads. 
The full striking power of the armored division can best be devel- 
oped in attack over rolling country with few features. Marshy, 
wooded, and rough country allows movement off the road only for 
short stretches, with reduced mobility. It may exclude the 
employment of tanks. 

4. The components of an armored division are so proportioned 
that the detachment of individual units, especially of tanks, or 
their attachment to other units, restricts the fitness of the division 
for employment in strategic roles. 

5. The main striking force of the division lies in its tank brigade. 
Its offensive infantry element is the motorized infantry brigade. 
In addition the armored division comprises motorized recon- 
naissance elements, motorized artillery, antitank units, armored 
signal units, antiaircraft machine-gun troops, and supply and 
maintenance services. In active campaigns an observation squad- 
ron (serves also for artillery observation) and a light antiaircraft 
battalion are attached to the division. 



465689° — 42 2 



1 



Chapter 2 



ROLE OF THE ARMORED DIVISION 

6. The armored division normally rights in the framework of 
the armored corps, but is also suited to carry out independent 
operations, in which case reinforcement with motorized infantry 
and artillery is usually necessary. 

7. Its supreme role is to obtain decision in battle. Within the 
framework of the armored corps it can carry out the, following 
tasks: 

a. Break through an enemy protective screen to make early 
contact with the enemy's main force; 

b. Obtain early possession of topographical features and sec- 
tors of decisive importance for further fighting; 

c. Gain surprise in an attack on the advancing enemy to frus- 
trate his plans and take the initiative from him; 

d. Attack an enemy incompletely prepared for defense; 

e. Attack on a narrow front against a prepared enemy; 

/. Restore momentum to an attack which has come to a stand- 
still; 

g. Break through on a wide front against a demoralized enemy; 

h. Exploit success and complete the destruction of the enemy 
by deep penetration or flank attack; 

i. Pursue a defeated enemy; 

j. Carry out strategic envelopment; 

k. Attack to destroy enemy tank units; 

/. Cooperate with parachute and air-borne troops. 

8. The armored division acting independently can carry out 
the following strategic tasks: 

a. Reconnaissance in force in cooperation with strategic aerial 
reconnaissance ; 

b. Early occupation of sectors important for further operations, 
of politically and economically important localities, and of indus- 
trial installations; 



2 



c. Delaying the enemy advance, providing a protective screen, 
or acting as a flank guard to a larger unit. 

9. The armored division is equally suitable for breaking through 
a prepared position when the position is strengthened by isolated 
permanent fortifications. The cooperation of medium artillery 
and bombardment aviation then becomes necessary. 

In an attack on a prepared position, the speed and mobility of 
an armored division cannot be exploited. There is a danger that 
tanks may be exposed to such heavy casualties against a prepared 
defense that the further employment of the division becomes im- 
possible. 

Armored divisions are therefore only to be used for breaking 
through a permanent front if infantry divisions are not available, 
if the delay in bringing them forward may result in losing an 
opportunity to exploit the success with armored divisions well 
forward, or if the enemy is already demoralized. The armored 
division must then be reinforced by motorized infantry, artillery, 
and motorized engineers, weapons capable of assaulting concrete 
works, and smoke troops. They must also be supported by 
bombardment aviation. 

10. The armored division can attack across a river. The neces- 
sary amount of reinforcement by other arms, especially engineers, 
depends on the strength of the enemy and his defense, and on the 
width of the river. 

11. The role of the armored division in a protective task is 
generally offensive. It carries out counterattacks to relieve parts 
of the front under heavy pressure, breaks up enemy tank attacks 
by surprise thrusts, is employed against the flanks of an enemy 
who has broken through, or attacks the enemy from the flanks or 
rear while he is held frontally. 

If the armored division has to take part in a defensive operation, 
which will be exceptional, every effort must be made to relieve it 
as quickly as possible by infantry units. 

12. The armored division can also be used independently to 
screen the withdrawal of large units. This task is usually carried 
out offensively. 



3 



Chapter 3 



EMPLOYMENT OF THE ARMORED DIVISION 

13. The speed and mobility of the armored division demand 
of all commanders boldness, powers of rapid decision, and ability 
to convert decisions into brief commands. 

14. The strength of the armored division lies in concentrating 
the force of the tank brigade. This is the normal practice. It 
is the task of the commander to see that all arms of the division 
are used to support the tank attack. Individual arms must be 
mutually supporting, and each must be prepared to exploit the 
success of the other. 

15. Task forces can be formed temporarily for specific missions: 

a. In the attack, when the division is advancing on a broad 
front over several roads against a weaker enemy, or in traversing 
wooded or mountainous country; 

b. In a rapid pursuit when the division has to anticipate the 
enemy in occupying important points, road junctions, potential 
bottlenecks, etc.; 

c. In a withdrawal, to cover disengagement from the enemy. 
Task forces are employed in accordance with the same principles 

that apply to the armored division as a whole. The division 
commander can influence the battle by employing reserves of all 
arms. Task forces, however, must be provided at the outset 
svith all means necessary for the task allotted. The division 
:ommander must make every effort to reconcentrate all parts of 
the division under his direct command. 

16. The object of the armored division in battle is destruction 
Df the enemy, either by break-through or envelopment. The 
mobility of the armored division enables it to avoid a frontal 
engagement and to maneuver to the enemy's rear. 

Foresight in choice of the terrain over which an anticipated 
engagement is to take place is of great importance. This terrain 
should be thoroughly covered by air reconnaissance. The art of 



4 



command lies in ability to choose the exact moment for deploy- 
ment for battle so that the object may be achieved with maximum 
speed and minimum losses. 

The armored division must be deployed in depth. When deep 
penetration is made, long flanks are frequently exposed. Anxiety 
on this cause must not, however, be allowed to hamper bold 
action nor divert the division from the decisive direction. Advance 
measures must be taken to screen the flanks and defend against 
air attack. 

17. In battle the full striking force of the division must be 
used unsparingly. The more decisive the role of the division in 
the operation, the more important this becomes. The greater the 
forces that can be concentrated at one point, the greater will be 
the success and the smaller the losses. 

18. The tank's ability to surprise by its speed and mobility 
must be fully exploited. Aids to this are the screening of move- 
ments, camouflage of bivouacs, and prevention of enemy air 
reconnaissance. 

19. Accurate knowledge of the topography must be obtained 
by detailed study of maps and aerial photographs before orders 
are issued. 

Subordinate commanders must be kept constantly informed 
of the current situation and the division commander's ultimate 
intention, in order to be able to adjust themselves to rapid changes 
in the situation which are often encountered as a result of the 
speed of movement, and in order to act in accord with the com- 
mander's general plan when unexpected difficulties and obstacles 
are encountered. 

The cooperation of all parts of the division must be worked 
out in the greatest detail possible by the division commander. 
In order to avoid delays, frequent use will be made in the armored 
division of short warning orders. A thrust line (see note) will 
be given to the division during the attack in order that fresh 
directions of attack and objectives may be radioed in the clear. 
Important information gained by reconnaissance can also be com- 
municated quickly and safely by this means. 

Note. — The thrust line (StossJinie) method is much used by the Germans 
for sending map references in the clear. It consists of a line drawn upon a 



5 



The situation and necessity for rapid action may compel the 
division commander to intervene temporarily in the command of 
lower units by setting new objectives for the tanks or the motorized 
infantry regiments. 

20. Commanders of all units must establish themselves with 

an advance headquarters well forward, and must be in a position 

to survey the battlefield frequently in time to issue their orders 

map which theoretically may run in any direction but actually usually 
extends in the proposed direction of advance or down the axis of a recon- 
naissance unit. 




The line, which begins at a fixed point and continues indefinitely in the 
•equired direction, is usually divided into centimeters for convenience. To 
;ive a map reference a perpendicular is dropped from the reference point to 
:he thrust line. Measurements are then taken from the point of origin to 
:he point where the perpendicular cuts the thrust line, then along the per- 
pendicular to the reference point. Since the point may lie on either side of 
:he thrust line, the second figure must be prefaced by either "right" or "left" 
or as one looks toward the enemy. 

A typical reference would be "6 right 3." The figures are always in centi- 
meters; therefore the actual distance on the ground will vary with the scale 
of the map used. The scale may start with an arbitrary figure, have dummy 
ligures interspersed, or start with the number of the thrust line when there are 
several in a given area. These devices make the code difficult to break 
:apidly. 

Instruments have been found consisting of a transparent ruler graduated 
.n millimeters, with a shorter ruler similarly graduated fixed to slide up and 
down at right angles to the long ruler. Operators with practice can give 
references very quickly. 



6 



early and note changes in the situation. 1 This applies especially 
to the division commander. 2 On the move he will usually have 
his headquarters with the commander of the advance guard. In 
action he will choose a position from which he can most quickly 
and directly influence the conduct of the battle. 

A tactical headquarters group will remain as long as possible 
with the division commander. Terrain, enemy activity, liaison 
with superior headquarters, and necessity for insuring unified 
command may, however, lead to separation. Even so, the 
tactical group must make every effort to be well forward. The 
division commander communicates with his tactical group by radio 
or messenger. He must keep constantly in touch with his tactical 
group in order to keep abreast of the situation as a whole. 

It may be desirable to specify in division orders the route to be 
followed by the tactical group and the proposed location of the 
command post. Higher headquarters and units protecting flanks 
must have early notice of these points. 

It must be made clear in orders which units are to establish 
message-dropping grounds. 

21. Signal communications must be established early so that 
information and orders may be transmitted quickly to meet 
changes in the situation. As the radio method of communication 
employed by the armored division betrays the latter's presence to 
the enemy, radio silence must be maintained, especially by tank 
units, until the moment operations commence. Orders must 
therefore be communicated as long as possible by means of 
messengers, telephones, and, over long distances, by aircraft. 

1 See par. 140, FM 100-5, FSR. 

2 In this connection, note the following excerpt from "Panzers across the 
Meuse," in The Field Artillery Journal (April 1941): 

"Of interest is General Guderian's method of exercising command in the 
field. His headquarters is divided into two echelons. The rear one (headed 
by the Chief of Staff) contains the larger part of the staff, and remains in 
fairly quiet places to study situation maps, work on orders, and to act as a 
clearing house for the flow of information to and from the front. The 
forward echelon of headquarters is led by the general himself (he is the 'out- 
side' man) in a small cross-country car. Apparently Guderian sits in the 
front seat of this vehicle, which he frequently drives himself. With him are 
two staff officers and an adjutant. Following are two aides in motorcycles 
with side cars; then two or three messengers on solo motorcycles; and finally 
the armored wireless truck, or CP — an open armored vehicle equipped with 
radios, map tables, etc. Guderian used this car throughout the Polish cam- 
paign. With this small circus he spends his time up at the very front, 
circulating back and forth between his subordinate units." 



7 



After battle begins, orders are issued chiefly by radio. It is 
e ssential to proper functioning of the armored division that radio 
communication should function perfectly, since it controls not 
only communications within the division, but also between the 
division and neighboring formations, and between air and ground 
reconnaissance forces. 

Radio must be safeguarded. All messages regarding future 
intentions which allow the enemy sufficient time to take counter- 
measures must be camouflaged in accordance with regulations. 
] Messages and orders which call for immediate action are suffi- 
ciently camouflaged by use of the thrust line and code names. 

22. If there is likelihood of cooperation of fighter and bombard- 
ment aviation with the armored division, contact must be made 
beforehand with commanders of the units involved, and details 
thoroughly worked out. 

An air liaison officer must be allotted to headquarters of an 
armored division. He must have an air signal section to maintain 
constant touch with flying units. Timing and targets must be 
worked out in advance in cooperation with dive-bomber and 
bomber units. Commanders of air units must have early infor- 
mation of the movement of the armored division. Targets must 
be clearly laid down in order of priority. 

Those elements of the division which are to receive aerial sup- 
port in the attack must know the objectives to be attacked and 
v:he time, number, and duration of attacks to be made. 

23. Cooperation of the armored division with parachute and 
air-borne troops must be coordinated as regards time and plans. 
!£ach must know the task of the other. The armored division 
:nust endeavor to establish contact with air-borne troops by swift 
attack. Radio communication must be established between the 
armored division and commanders of the parachute or air-borne 
xoops. 



8 



Chapter 4 



COMPONENTS OF THE ARMORED DIVISION 
Section I 
TANK BRIGADE 

24. Because of its large number of guns and machine guns of 
various calibers, its speed of going ir co action and its maneuvera- 
bility, the tank brigade can concentrate a heavy volume of fire on 
all targets. Its cross-country performance and armor enable it 
to exploit this fire power against the enemy at most effective 
ranges. 

25. The success of the tank brigade depends upon its employ- 
ment in mass formation and the concentration of the largest possi- 
ble number of tanks to gain surprise in deep thrusts against the 
enemy's weak spots. 

26. In all situations the success of the tank brigade is primarily 
dependent upon the personal leadership of the commander. 

27. He carries out the reconnaissance of ground on which the 
conduct of the tank battle depends. On the basis of the division 
order, his knowledge of the terrain, and reconnaissance, he lays 
down the detailed order of battle for his brigade, its main line of 
attack, and its frontage and depth. 

The tank brigade can be employed either in frontal or flank 
attack, and in several waves. The method depends upon the 
task, the terrain, the degree of resistance expected from the 
enemy, and the depth of the enemy's defensive zone. In general, 
flank attack is preferred. 

When the situation is uncertain or the attack made over dead 
ground, it may be desirable to employ at first only a few elements, 
holding the remainder of the force in close reserve. The first 
wave of tanks must be given sufficient tanks with heavy caliber 
guns to insure that the enemy's antitank defense is quickly and 
surely neutralized. 



465689°— 42 3 



9 



28. On the basis of division orders, the brigade commander 
lays down the method of cooperation between tank regiments and 
supporting arms. During the battle he gives orders either 
verbally or by radio to the artillery regimental or battery com- 
mander accompanying him. 

29. During the attack the brigade commander keeps the division 
c instantly informed of the progress of the attack and of the objec- 
tives gained. On reaching objectives he decides whether the 
regiments are to be organized to pursue the attack or to reassemble 
under division orders. 

30. During the attack the brigade commander directs his 
uiit by means of radio. He has for this purpose the brigade 
signal platoon, which is detached from the division armored 
signal battalion. The nature of the task, the situation, and the 
allotment of other arms will from time to time necessitate change 
ir. the use of radio communications. Normally, the brigade 
commander will maintain radio contact with the division, his 
regiments, and the artillery. It may also be necessary, however, 
to establish radio communications with the motorized infantry 
and air force reconnaissance units, as well as with antitank troops. 
The brigade commander must make an early decision as to what 
communications are absolutely essential and whether an additional 
allotment is required from the division. 

Radio communications from reconnaissance aviation working 
with the tanks may, if necessary, be supplemented by message 
dropping. 

31. If task forces are formed, the commander of the tank 
brigade will normally command one of them. 

Section II 

MOTORIZED INFANTRY BRIGADE 

32. The main effort of the armored division falls upon the 
motorized infantry brigade when the nature of the ground and 
tank obstacles prevent use of the tank brigade, and when it is 
essential to exploit the speed of the motorized infantry. 

33. Equipment of the motorized infantry brigade with armored 
tr ansport vehicles enables it to follow the tank brigade in vehicles 
over the battlefield, and to fight in close cooperation with the 
ta nks. 

10 



The motorized infantry fights on foot. It can, however, en- 
gage an inferior or demoralized enemy without dismounting. 
These two methods supplement each other. Transport vehicle 
crews must therefore be kept close at hand while the infantry is 
fighting dismounted. In those cases where the motorized infantry 
brigade is not equipped with armored transport vehicles, it must 
dismount as soon as it comes within range of enemy infantry fire. 

The motorized infantry brigade moves more quickly than the 
tank brigade on roads and tracks. 

34. Equipment of the motorized infantry brigade with a large 
number of automatic weapons enables it to hold a broad front, 
even against an enemy of considerable strength. 

35. The motorcycle battalion is an especially rapid and adapt- 
able force. It is particularly fitted to anticipate the enemy in 
rapidly occupying important areas, to engage a weak enemy, to 
follow closely behind a tank attack, especially at night, in order 
to provide the tank brigade with necessary infantry protection, 
to reinforce the reconnaissance unit, to undertake wide and deep 
enveloping movements, to perform protective roles, and to act as 
a reserve. 

36. The motorized infantry brigade has a signal platoon which 
is detached from the division armored signal battalion. On the 
move and when advancing deployed in vehicles, communications 
will be chiefly by radio. When attacking deployed on foot, wire 
communication becomes necessary. 

37. If task forces are formed, the commander of the motorized 
infantry brigade will normally command one of them. 

Section III 
ARTILLERY REGIMENT 

38. In keeping with the mobility of the armored division, the 
artillery must be employed in a mobile and elastic manner. Its 
equipment and speed in going into action enable it to give con- 
tinued and effective support to the swiftly moving attack of the 
division. Its armor and its mobility on self-propelled mounts 
permit part of the artillery to follow the tanks, even within range 
of enemy infantry weapons, and to go into action from positions 
where fire by direct laying is possible. Armored command and 



11 



observation vehicles enable the officer observing and directing the 
artillery fire to accompany the tank attack and to cooperate 
closely with the commander of the tank brigade. 

39. The relatively small size of the artillery component makes 
it necessary that it be allotted only a few tasks of major import- 
ance. Fire of the artillery must be strictly concentrated upon such 
targets as cannot be engaged by the tanks. 

In an attack against an enemy organized for defense, every 
;ffort must be made to reinforce the division artillery, particularly 
with medium batteries. Artillery reinforcements obtained from 
:he GHQ pool, by their equipment and training, are not so well 
itted for direct support of the tank attack as is the division 
artillery. Their primary role should be to engage targets in the 
enemy's rear and flanks after the first penetration has been made. 

Smoke troops can give effective assistance to artillery. 1 

40. Artillery spotting planes and the armored observation bat- 
tery report enemy gun positions and provide the commander 
with valuable supplementary information. They can undertake 
:asks of registering and spotting for their own artillery. 

Spotting posts of the armored observation battery lying outside 
:he division's sector must be given protection. 

Section IV 
ANTITANK BATTALION 2 

41. As a result of its speed, mobility, cross-country performance, 
,md protection against tanks, the antitank battalion can attack 
<:nemy tanks. It unites mobility and fire power in battle. Its 
object is to engage and destroy enemy tanks by surprise attack 
iom an unexpected direction with concentrated fire. 

1 Smoke troops are probably attached to the armored divisions only on 
special missions. The smoke company is believed to consist of about 120 
officers and enlisted men and 24 vehicles. In addition each company has 
eight 81-mm mortars, and it is possible that 100-mm mortars may be 
rntroduced. 

2 The antitank battalion comprises headquarters, signal section, three 
intitank companies, and probably one antiaircraft company. An antitank 

company consists of headquarters, signal section, and three platoons. Each 
platoon consists of four sections each armed with one 37-mm AT gun, and 
one section armed with two light machine guns. The 37-mm AT guns are 
now being replaced in many units by SO-mm AT guns. The antiaircraft 
company is believed to consist of twelve 20-mm superheavy AA and AT 
machine guns. 



12 



42. In addition to engaging enemy tanks, the antitank unit has 
the task of neutralizing enemy antitank defenses, thereby sup- 
porting its own tanks. 

43. Antitank units, especially when supporting motorized 
infantry, can also use HE shell to neutralize especially trouble- 
some enemy defense areas. Heavy antitank units can engage 
loopholes of permanent defenses and of fortified houses. 

44. Antitank units will normally be employed in companies. 
In an attack against strong enemy tank forces, every endeavor 
should be made to employ the battalion in a mass formation. In 
engaging loopholes and enemy defense areas, antitank units will 
be employed by platoons or with single guns. 

Section V 

ARMORED ENGINEER BATTALION 3 

45. The armored engineer battalion is able to follow tanks 
everywhere on the battlefield. In cases where not all the bat- 
talion vehicles are armored or capable of moving across country, 
only the armored engineer company of the battalion can be used 
in direct support of the tank brigade. 

46. The task of the armored engineers is to provide the armored 
division on the march and in battle with the necessary facilities for 
movement. These include: 

a. Seeking out and removing obstacles in the line of advance; 

b. Clearing lanes through mine fields; 

c. Marking mined areas; 

d. Constructing crossings and bridges with improvised or 
standard equipment capable of carrying all vehicles of the armored 
division. 

In addition, armored engineers cooperate especially in the attack 
against permanent defenses. 

3 The armored engineer battalion consists of headquarters, 3 light motor- 
ized companies (possibly only 2 in some cases), 1 motorized heavy bridge 
column, and 1 supply park. The motorized companies have 4 officers and 
183 enlisted men each, and are armed with 9 light machine guns, 153 rifles, 
and 34 pistols. The heavy bridge column comprises all the equipment and 
personnel necessary for construction of a bridge of 28-ton capacity. It has 
6 officers, 184 enlisted men, and is armed with 1 light machine gun, 153 rifles, 
and 36 pistols. The supply park has 2 officers and 48 enlisted men, and is 
armed with 1 light machine gun, 36 rifles, and 14 pistols. The personnel and 
engineer equipment is moved in passenger cars, trucks, tractor trailers, and 
motorcycles. 



13 



47. The large number of engineer tasks necessitates economy of 
employment. The engineer force must not split up into small 
detachments. All other tasks must be subordinated to the main 
function of insuring a clear passage for advance of the tank brigade; 
therefore every endeavor must be made to employ the armored 
engineers before the tank attack begins. 

48. The tank brigade, the motorized infantry brigade, and the 
•econnaissance unit each has its own engineer platoon. The 
:iature of the task, the situation, and the terrain may in some cases 
necessitate its reinforcement by parts of the armored engineer 
battalion. 

Section VI 
ARMORED SIGNAL BATTALION 4 

49. In keeping with the mobility of the armored division, the 
armored signal battalion is well equipped with radio and tele- 
phone equipment. Cross-country armored signal vehicles can 
accompany the tank attack wherever it goes and supply the com- 
munication necessary for its command. 

50. The chief signal officer of the division must be kept informed 
of the current situation, plans, and employment of troops in order 
i'or him to make suitable arrangements for communications. 

51. Radio communications must be insured by employment of 
sufficiently powerful sets in point-to-point traffic. In event of 
a rapidly moving attack by the armored division, the chief signal 
officer must have at his disposal a reserve of radio equipment. 

52. Telephone communications, especially to superior head- 
quarters, must be maintained as long as possible. It is important 
1:o cooperate with the corps signal unit in pushing forward a main 
artery as rapidly and as far as possible. 

Existing civilian telephone lines are to be used when possible. 
:in rapidly moving operations over wide areas, the division com- 
mander decides if and when wire communications are to be 
established. 

* The signal battalion of an armored division consists of headquarters, an 
urmored radio company, an armored signal company, and a light combat 
train. 



14 



Section VII 
LIGHT ANTIAIRCRAFT BATTALION 

53. The units of the armored division are vulnerable to attack 
by enemy aircraft. It is normally not possible to give protection 
to all parts of the armored division. If army antiaircraft units 
and heavy air force antiaircraft units are attached to the division, 
the employment of all antiaircraft fire power must be unified. 

54. The scanty proportion of fire power forces the command 
to limit tasks of the light antiaircraft battalion, and to concen- 
trate them at especially threatened localities. 

55. In cases where the antitank battalion does not possess 
guns effective against tanks at longer ranges, heavy antiaircraft 
units or single guns will be used in antitank defense and assault 
of fixed defenses, according to the principles in paragraphs 42 
to 44. 



15 



Chapter 5 



RECONNAISSANCE 
Section I 
GENERAL 

56. The rapid movement of an armored division over wide 
areas demands forethought in directing and executing reconnais- 
sance. Reconnaissance will be carried out by the air force recon- 
naissance squadron (attached to the armored division) and the 
motorized reconnaissance units, augmented by information col- 
lected by the armored observation troop. 

57. Tasks given to the various reconnaissance units must 
supplement each other. In view of the small allotment of recon- 
naissance forces, supplementary tasks must be allotted for more 
detailed reconnaissance in a decisive direction only. Aerial and 
ground reconnaissance units must maintain close liaison. 

Section H 
AIR RECONNAISSANCE 

58. The armored division can obtain its information about the 
enemy most rapidly from the air reconnaissance squadron. 

59. This air reconnaissance squadron covers objectives 30 
niles in front of the foremost parts of the division. At greater 
d istances the army reconnaissance squadron of the armored corps 
in responsible. The limits of reconnaissance on the flanks are 
determined by the presence or absence of one's own troops, and 
the distances at which they are located. 

60. The air force commander with the armored corps can take 
control of the armored division reconnaissance squadron, if 
direction of reconnaissance by the armored corps becomes 
necessary. 



16 



61. In tactical reconnaissance the squadron can be employed 
in the following special missions : 

a. Watching railways and roads, especially for movements of 
tanks, antitank and motorized forces; 

b. Reporting serious obstacles and barriers, and areas suitable 
for defense against tanks; 

c. Reporting the nature of the terrain in the line of the division's 
advance. 

It is of special importance to determine whether there are 
enemy forces concentrated to move against the flanks of the 
division. 

62. Aerial photography must be planned in advance, as it pro- 
vides valuable data for employment of the division. 

63. In air reconnaissance during battle, watching over the 
tank brigade is of special importance when the latter is operating 
in advance of the other units of the division. Early confirmation 
of the positions of enemy antitank guns, the concentration of 
enemy tanks, tank obstacles, and ground suitable for tanks is 
important. The objectives reached by one's own tanks also should 
be reported. 

64. Reconnaissance aircraft can give advance warning of 
approaching enemy aircraft. 

Section III 

MOTORIZED RECONNAISSANCE BATTALION 1 

65. The division puts the motorized reconnaissance battalion 
well in front when it needs to supplement air reconnaissance 

1 The motorized reconnaissance battalion of an armored division consists 
of headquarters, a motorized signal corps platoon, 2 armored car companies, 
1 motorcycle company, 1 heavy weapons company, and a light ammunition 
column. The motorized reconnaissance battalion has 12 heavy armored 
cars and 42 light armored cars and is armed with 63 light machine guns, 6 
heavy, machine guns, 12 20-mm machine guns, 3 37-mm antitank guns, 2 
75-mm cavalry howitzers, 3 81-mm mortars, and 3 50-mm light mortars. 
The armored car companies consist of 6 heavy armored cars and 21 light 
and superlight armored cars, and their armament consists of 24 light machine 
guns, 1 heavy machine gun, and 6 20-mm machine guns. The motorcycle 
company has 8 solo motorcycles, 41 motorcycles with side cars, and 10 light 
trucks, and is armed with 9 light machine guns, 4 heavy machine guns, and 
3 50-mm light howitzers. The heavy weapons company has 6 light machine 
guns, 3 37-mm antitank guns, 2 75-mm cavalry howitzers, and 3 81-mm 
mortars. 

465689° — 42 4 17 



quickly, and when a clear picture of the enemy's dispositions can 
be obtained only by fighting. The reconnaissance battalion is 
fitted for this because of its equipment with armored vehicles and 
numerous automatic weapons. To carry out reconnaissance in 
battle against a stronger enemy, it must be reinforced. 

66. The motorized reconnaissance battalion is fast, and has a 
wide radius of action. It can be employed for distances up to 
{0 miles. The frontage on which reconnaissance is carried out 
will generally be decided by the armored corps. In independent 
employment of the division, conditioning factors are estimated 
strength of the enemy, number of areas to be reconnoitered, road 
conditions, and nature of the terrain. It may extend to 35 miles, 
and frequently even more on open flanks. 

67. The abundance of reconnaissance tasks makes it necessary 
for the command to concentrate on the essential. Apart from 
tusks which any reconnaissance unit may be called upon to carry 
oat, the motorized battalion must also give early information of 
e:aemy antitank defenses, and by reconnaissance of the terrain 
prepare the way for movement of the armored division. 

68. As soon as battle begins, the motorized reconnaissance 
battalion must receive orders as to whether it is to continue its 
reconnaissance activity, hold temporarily important features, 
withdraw through the division, clear the front, or carry out 
reconnaissance on the flank. Because of the nature of its compo- 
sition, the motorized reconnaissance battalion is not suited for 
defensive missions. For example, an open flank may be watched 
over by long-range reconnaissance but must be protected by 
other troops. 

Section IV 
UNIT COMBAT RECONNAISSANCE 

69. Combat reconnaissance must be initiated as soon as the 
division is deployed. It is supplemented by reconnaissance 
platoons of regiments, by the armored observation troop, and by 
reconnaissance patrols on foot. 

70. In combat reconnaissance, the location of enemy anti- 
tank weapons by all arms of the armored division is of special 
importance. 



18 



71. In cases where the tank brigade and the motorized infantry- 
brigade are not equipped with tanks for battle reconnaissance, 
motorcyclists, infantry in armored transport vehicles, and bicy- 
clists will carry out the reconnaissance. 

Section V 

COOPERATION BETWEEN AIR AND GROUND 
RECONNAISSANCE 

72. Cooperation between air and ground methods of trans- 
mitting reconnaissance reports must be laid down by the division. 
Air reconnaissance will frequently show the motorized reconnais- 
sance unit the direction in which reconnaissance must be devel- 
oped. The motorized reconnaissance unit must have direct radio 
communication with the reconnaissance aircraft. If this is not 
possible, it will tune in to the reports of the reconnaissance plane. 

73. In order to screen radio traffic, the reconnaissance unit will, 
as far as possible, communicate its reports to a station already 
known to the enemy. The division will listen in to messages. 

74. Reconnaissance pilots can report either by means of radio, 
message dropping, or verbally on landing. The most rapid 
means is by radio, or by message dropping during flight. Radio 
communication is to be preferred as it offers the advantages of 
allowing queries to be made from the ground and new tasks to be 
communicated to the observer. 

As far as radio equipment permits, units of the division should 
listen to the air observer. 



19 



Chapter 6 



MOVEMENT 
Section I 
GENERAL 

75. On good roads free of traffic, the following speeds are pos- 
sible: full-track vehicles — day 12 mph, night 7.5 mph; half-track 
vehicles — day 18 mph, night 9 mph; motorcycles — day 24 mph, 
night 12 mph. 

In 24 hours the division can move 90 to 120 miles with full- 
track vehicles, and 150 to 210 miles with other vehicles. 

76. Distances covered by the armored division and its fresh- 
ness for the battle are influenced to a decisive degree by the terrain 
and the road network. Movement of the armored division is 
appreciably influenced by unfavorable weather conditions. This 
must be taken into account when missions are assigned. 

77. Early and continuous reconnaissance of roads to be used 
in the advance is necessary to insure speed of movement. Engi- 
neer reconnaissance of roads must be combined with that of the 
reconnaissance units. Valuable assistance can be obtained from 
visual reconnaissance and aerial photographs. This road recon- 
naissance will be carried out by reconnaissance detachments 
under the command of officers. Normally they will be assigned 
their tasks by the commanders of the march columns. Frequently 
they will have engineers attached so that any obstacles can be 
speedily removed. These detachments may also be called upon to 
carry out reconnaissance of rest and assembly areas. 

The advance of the division must not be delayed by waiting for 
fresh reports as long as the division can withdraw in case of 
necessity. 

78. Movement and traffic control will be carried out in accord- 



20 



ance with the principles laid down in Movement and Traffic 
Control. 

79. The speed with which all troops of the division can catch up 
permits large intervals between individual units and groups within 
the march columns, provided the division is allotted roads with no 
time limit. In this case, unified control of the march columns is 
unnecessary. Individual units form at the times allotted them, 
and are in turn given the order to move. By this means the com- 
mander maintains control over movements of the division. If 
the foremost elements of the columns are held up, units behind 
are not necessarily held up in their turn. The different speeds of 
movement in the division are compensated for. Complete march 
columns may also be formed without previous assembly. 

Large intervals between individual columns necessitate strict 
traffic control in order to prevent other troops from mingling in the 
movement of the division. If the higher command lays down 
definite times during which the division is to use certain roads, 
intervals between individual march columns must be so regulated 
that the roads are cleared within the time allotted. 

80. If sufficient roads are available, the advance will normally 
be made in several columns, but if there is a possibility of contact 
with the enemy, the lateral interval between march columns must 
be such as to allow the division to concentrate swiftly for unified 
employment. 

81. The intention of surprising the enemy, as well as the threat 
of air attack, frequently makes night marches necessary. The 
division will lay down the degree of lighting necessary. 

Speed in night marches depends upon visibility. When no 
lights are used for driving, speed must be dictated by considera- 
tions of safety. Road reconnaissance and clear signposting are 
indispensable in night marches. 

82. Liaison between the division commander and his tactical 
group and the march columns, march groups or individual units 
on the move must be insured by liaison officers, messengers, and 
radio. Radio sections detached for this purpose listen in, even 
during periods of radio silence. 

It is desirable to establish points along the main route of 
advance with which units moving on other roads can establish 
timely liaison. Liaison over long distances can be established 



21 



by means of aircraft. They can also be employed to cover the 
movement of the division and report the points reached by indi- 
vidual columns. Within the march columns and march groups 
liaison will be maintained by messengers. 

83. Halts of 20 minutes should be made every 2 hours, or 
when necessary. Unified divisional control of timing for the 
individual march columns and march groups is essential. Within 
a march column no commander may halt independently, even for 
a short time, as each halt extends itself to the rear and causes 
undesirable blockages and increased gasoline consumption. 

A rest is essential under normal conditions after a 4- to 5-hour 
movement. It conserves the gasoline supply and can be used 
to give the drivers food and rest. It should last for at least 3 
hours. 

Rest areas must be reconnoitered in advance. They must 
permit a rapid resumption of the advance. Rest areas for troops 
on wheeled vehicles and motorcycle troops are generally close to 
the road; for tracked vehicles they are some distance from the 
road. 

84. Long marches make the same demands on vehicles of the 
division as does battle itself. After 4 or 5 days' operations it is 
essential, in order to maintain efficiency of the armored division, 
that time be allotted for recovery and overhaul. If the situation 
or military necessity forbid this, the commander must accept 
the fact that parts of the division will be temporarily unfit for 
service. 

Frequently a rest of several hours will be sufficient to repair 
damaged vehicles. Troops must be informed of the duration of 
the rest period. 

Section II 
MARCH ORGANIZATION 

85. With the rapidly changing situation of the armored division, 
there is no hard and fast rule for march organization. The com- 
mand must adjust march organization to suit a wide variety of 
demands. 

86. If combat is not expected during the march, wheeled, half- 
and fully-tracked vehicles move together. 



22 



87. If contact with the enemy is expected during the march, 
the controlling factors are the task, enemy resistance to be 
expected, and the terrain. 

88. At the same time, care must be taken to see that units are 
allowed to overtake march columns only if the advance elements of 
the column are halted in order to leave the road clear and all 
traffic from the other direction is held up. 

89. If the situation indicates that contact with the enemy will 
require immediate employment of the tank brigade, the latter 
must be placed well forward in the columns. If, on the other 
hand, it can be seen from the situation or the nature of the ground 
that tanks cannot be used on first contact with the enemy, then 
the motorized infantry will lead. The tanks will follow, be given 
a separate route, or will be kept in readiness off the road. 

If the situation requires the division to be employed in task 
forces, movement will be carried out in mixed march groups. 
Their composition will be dictated by requirements of the impend- 
ing battle. An attempt should be made, even within mixed 
march groups, to assign separate roads to tanks and to other arms. 
This must, of course, depend upon the tactical situation . and a 
suitable road system which allows advance on a broad front. 

If important sectors are to be occupied in advance of the 
enemy or during pursuit, special mobile advance detachments 
may be formed. They hurry on without regard to maintaining 
contact with the division behind them. Their composition must 
be such that they can quickly break any expected enemy resistance 
and brush aside obstacles. Engineers must be allotted to these 
detachments. 

It may be advisable to place the reconnaissance forces and 
the advance units temporarily under the same command. This 
must be ordered by the division. 

90. The artillery must be well forward so that it will be prepared 
for action. 

Engineers are to be assigned to all march columns if special 
tasks do not require the concentration of engineer forces. 

91. Combat vehicles of all units will be divided into vehicles 
which the troops require during action and those which are not apt 
to be required immediately. The first group moves with units, 
the second will follow either under control of commanders of the 



23 



march columns or under unified control of the division, according 
to the division commander's decision. 

Section HI 
SECURITY ON THE MOVE 

92. The armored division protects itself against a ground enemy 
by early initiation of ground and air reconnaissance. 

93. If early contact with the enemy is expected, the advance 
will be covered by an advance guard. If the advance is made 
along more than one road, each march column will be allotted an 
advance guard. 

Strength and composition of the advanced guard are dictated 
by the situation, terrain visibility, and strength of the march 
column. If the tank brigade follows immediately behind the ad- 
vance guard, the fighting strength of the latter may be kept rela- 
tively small. In suitable country, -the tank brigade, or part of it, 
may take over the duties of advance guard in order to destroy 
enemy resistance immediately. If considerable antitank opposi- 
tion, road blocks, or natural obstacles are apt to be encountered, 
the advance guard should be composed predominantly of motor- 
ized infantry. In most cases artillery, engineers, and antitank 
units must be allotted. 

94. Areas which have been reported clear of the enemy will be 
covered by the advance guard in one bound, except for short halts, 
in order to enable the division to advance without hindrance. If 
enemy activity is likely, the advance guard may be ordered to 
proceed by bounds. This must not interfere with forward move- 
ment of the division. 

The interval between the advance guard and units following will 
vary according to the strength of the formation and probability of 
enemy activity. It may be as much as 1 hour. 

If the advance of the division is delayed by road blocks in great 
depth or by the enemy rearguard, it may be desirable to separate 
those parts of the division which are not immediately required for 
removal of obstacles or enemy resistance, and to allow them to 
rest off the road until the advance can be resumed smoothly. 
This avoids traffic jams and lessens wear and tear on both troops 
and engines. 



24 



95. March columns guard against threats to their flanks by 
reconnaissance. When necessary, forces must be sent along 
parallel roads to protect the main group, or must be pushed out to 
the flanks of the main route of advance. 

96. Antitank defense during movement will be provided by in- 
corporating antitank detachments in columns which are inade- 
quately equipped with antitank weapons. The companies of anti- 
tank battalions will, for this purpose, be placed under command of 
those groups to which they are to be assigned on deployment. 

97. For antiaircraft defense, light antiaircraft machine-gun 
units will usually be assigned to each march column. At bottle- 
necks and when the columns are halted, antiaircraft machine-gun 
units must be employed en masse. Frequently antiaircraft 
troops or antiaircraft machine-gun companies must be sent ahead 
with the advance guard in order to provide early antiaircraft 
defense at threatened points. Antiaircraft units can be em- 
ployed leapfrog fashion during the advance only if halts of con- 
siderable length are made to enable them to push forward again. 

Protection from daylight air attack demands full use of cover 
and dispersion. The advance must be continued despite enemy 
air attack. If this is impossible, the commander will order vehicles 
to seek cover off the road with troops dismounted. 

All troops and all suitable weapons will be employed in antiair- 
craft defense. If road conditions permit, machine gunners will 
open fire against low-flying aircraft independently, at the same 
time warning other troops. Efforts must be made to obtain 
fighter aircraft protection. 

By night the advance will be halted only if enemy aircraft 
directly attack the troops. 

98. The possibility of gas-spray attack from aircraft must 
always be borne in mind. Orders must be issued before the ad- 
vance, stating whether vehicles will use tarpaulins and whether 
troops are to wear antigas capes. 



25 



Chapter 7 



DEPLOYMENT 

99. As a rule, deployment precedes the division's organization 
for battle. It enables units in the rear of the columns to move 
quickly into battle, making full use of space for maneuvering. 
The longer the columns, the earlier deployment must be ordered. 
Increased readiness for battle compensates for the reduction in 
speed resulting from advancing deployed. 

100. The advance in deployed order is protected by combat 
reconnaissance. If the tactical situation demands it, artillery 
elements may be employed to cover deployment. Special routes 
must then be allotted to the artillery, so that it may take up its 
proper position after its support mission is completed. 

101. If the division commander has insufficient data at the time 
of deploying to lay down objectives to commanders of subordi- 
nate units, the latter must advance by bounds deployed. New 
bounds must be ordered early in order to obviate unnecessary 
delays when bounds have been reached. 

102. Early orders are necessary for employment of antiaircraft 
machine-gun units for the protection of deployment. 



26 



Chapter 8 



ATTACK 
Section I 
GENERAL 

103. In armored division combat, the decision is gained by- 
attack of the entire tank brigade in one body. Employment of 
the brigade is therefore of decisive importance. The main effort 
will be made where the tanks can find suitable terrain and battle 
conditions. 

The role of the other units of the armored division is to pro- 
vide conditions necessary for employment of the armored brigade, 
to support the tank attack, to protect the flanks, and to insure 
that success is exploited by close support. The motorized infantry 
enables the armored division to seize ground taken by the tanks 
and hold it for a considerable period. 

104. The armored division must endeavor, by obtaining early 
possession of vital points, to open the way for an attack. 

105. If the armored division succeeds in surprising an enemy 
ill prepared for defense, the division will attack without deploying. 
Attack without deploying can also be considered if the enemy is 
advancing to attack. The rapidity with which fire can be brought 
to bear and the combination of fire power and movement in the 
tank brigade compensate for the enemy's advantage in being 
prepared for attack. 

Attack is preceded by detailed preparation if the enemy's 
defense is organized and antitank defense is expected. 

106. The armored division's actual frontage of attack is nor- 
mally less than frontage of the sector allotted to it. It depends 
upon the tactical situation, the terrain, and the nature and 
strength of opposing forces. 

An attack against an enemy whose defense is organized requires 
concentration of the armored division's forces. Against an inferior 



27 



or demoralized enemy, or where there is little antitank opposition, 
a series of attacks at several separated points is frequently success- 
ful. Areas which have natural antitank defenses are well mined, 
or are protected by strong antitank organization, may narrow the 
attack or impose a temporary division of the attacking forces. 

107. Attack is made easier where the enemy has limited visi- 
bility. Attack at dusk or during darkness may lead to decisive 
results and completely disrupt the enemy. Suitable ground and 
good roads along which to press home the attack are essential. 

Fog precludes observed defensive fire, restricts the movements 
of tanks, and makes it difficult to identify the objectives allotted 
to them. 

Smoke assists the attack of the tanks if it is used to screen flanks 
and blot out antitank defenses and observation posts in the 
enemy's rear. It can be laid down by attached smoke units, 
tanks, or artillery, or can be sprayed or dropped in bombs by air- 
craft. Spray from low-flying aircraft is possible only when the 
enemy's antiaircraft defense is negligible or neutralized. 

Section II 

CONDUCT OF THE ATTACK 

108. Rapid and unexpected attack is the secret of success and 
leads to decisive results. 

109. In an attack without deployment, the objectives allotted 
will generally be distant. Over difficult terrain or where the situa- 
tion is not clear, especially when the attack has not been preceded 
by ground reconnaissance, the division may move forward by 
bounds in order to keep its forces together in readiness for unified 
action. Orders must be given early enough so that a steady, 
unimpeded advance is maintained and the enemy is given no time 
to organize his defense. 

110. An axis will be laid down for the attack. 

111. Wherever possible the attack will be led by the tank 
brigade. A short halt will usually be necessary in order to provide 
the attack with requisite breadth and momentum. A favorable 
opportunity will be exploited without delaying to make this prep- 
aration, even if only part of the armored brigade is immediately 



28 



available. In such a case the remainder of the tank brigade will 
follow deployed, so that it may immediately be thrown into the 
attack if the enemy's resistance stiffens. 

112. The success of the tank attack depends upon neutralizing 
the enemy's antitank defense. All arms must support the tank 
attack to this end. 

113. The motorized infantry follows the tanks in vehicles, 
deployed, as long as the enemy's fire allows. Troops dismount 
in order to attack defense areas which the tank brigade has not 
destroyed. 

Contact between the tank brigade and the motorized infantry 
following must not be broken. If there are enemy elements 
which have not been attacked by the tanks, or if there is a likeli- 
hood of enemy defense areas resuming activities after the tanks 
have passed, the tank brigade must set aside part of its force to 
assist the forward movement of the motorized infantry. It may 
be desirable to attach part of the tank brigade to the motorized 
infantry for this purpose. 

114. The attack must be pressed home to the objective regard- 
less of threats to flanks. Threatened flanks will be protected by 
motorized infantry or elements of the antitank battalion. Fre- 
quently sufficient flank protection can be given by reconnaissance. 
If the situation allows, it may be advisable to employ forces 
farther in rear against an enemy attacking in the flank. This is 
not done by diverting them so that they meet the enemy in a 
frontal attack, but by using them even farther back so that they 
in turn strike at the enemy's flank. 

115. An attack without deployment allows insufficient time to 
organize any artillery preparation. 

The artillery engages targets which have not been reduced by 
the tanks and which impede the progress of tanks and infantry. 
Such targets are primarily antitank weapons and defense areas in 
country possessing natural tank defense (built-up areas, woods) 
within and on either side of the sector in which the tanks are 
attacking. 

116. In order to obviate the danger of dispersion of fire in a 
rapidly moving battle, the commander must always make sure 
that the fire of several batteries is concentrated on a single objec- 
tive. The main artillery effort should be concentrated either 



29 



far ahead of the tanks or outside their sector of attack. No 
time can be laid down for the artillery fire to be lifted. Isolated 
targets which appear in the paths of the tanks must be engaged 
by the tanks themselves. 

117. It must 'be possible to support the tank attack throughout 
its depth with observed fire. Accordingly, observation and com- 
mand posts must be pushed well forward before the attack begins, 
and fire positions must be so chosen that the artillery fire follows 
the line of attack as long as possible. 

As a rule, part of the artillery, preferably batteries on self- 
propelled mounts, will be assigned to cooperate with the tank 
brigade. The commanders of the tank and artillery units must 
make every effort to confer. At the beginning of the battle the 
artillery commanders will be at observation posts from which 
they can give definite support in early stages of the attack. 

118. If the tank attack gains ground, the artillery must be 
kept in close support in order to prevent its losing contact in 
subsequent stages of the assault. Constant support must be 
insured by employing artillery troops in leapfrog fashion. 

Artillery commanders will move quickly in command cars to 
points from which they can follow the progress of the attack and 
support it by concentrated, observed fire. Forward observers 
in armored observation vehicles will move with the foremost 
tanks. 

Artillery liaison officers, who accompany commanders of the 
tank units, communicate the latters' requirements to artillery 
commanders. In addition, personal contact with commanders 
of the tank units should be sought. Radio communication must 
be established. 

If, after a successful break-through, the tanks find themselves 
in country clear of the enemy, all available routes must be used 
in order to push the artillery forward with the last wave of tanks 
so that they may be ready for action immediately if fresh enemy 
resistance is encountered. 

119. There must be close cooperation between artillery not 
employed in direct support of the tank brigade and one or more 
artillery spotting planes. This is essential if enemy artillery 
is to be rapidly and effectively engaged and fire brought on impor- 
tant targets concealed from ground observation. 



30 



Parts of this artillery will, if their fire can be controlled by 
spotting planes, remain in their fire position as long as range of 
the guns allows. 

One of the most important tasks of the artillery spotter plane 
is to keep watch for the appearance of enemy antitank and tank 
forces, and to direct artillery fire against these targets. Valuable 
data for the choice of fresh targets can be gained by the artillery 
commander from listening to the reports of reconnaissance aircraft. 

120. The armored engineer battalion will usually be attached to 
the tank brigade. It accompanies the tank brigade, removing tank 
obstacles encountered during the attack. Material for improvis- 
ing crossings over small cuts should be carried. Those parts of the 
engineer battalion which are not yet equipped with engineer tanks 
must follow as closely as possible behind the tank brigade. 

121. The antitank battalion accompanies the tank brigade in the 
attack, covering its flank and supporting it in neutralizing enemy 
tank and antitank defenses. Antitank units not yet armored or 
equipped with self-propelled mounts follow the armored brigade 
by bounds, with the special task of engaging enemy tanks attacking 
the flanks and rear of the tank brigade. 

Parts of the antitank battalion can be employed to provide anti- 
tank defense for the motorized infantry. 

122. Depending upon the air situation and nature of the terrain, 
light antiaircraft artillery and machine-gun units attached can be 
assigned the task of protecting the tank brigade, artillery, reserves, 
and transport vehicle assembly points against enemy air recon- 
naissance and attack. Headquarters and important supply 
centers, especially for ammunition and gasoline, must frequently 
be given protection. 

123. Rapid progress of an attack while the division is in motion 
rarely allows telephone communications to be established. Fre- 
quently only the most important radio communications will be 
possible because of the necessity of maintaining an adequate 
reserve to meet unforeseen demands. There must always be 
communication with the superior commander, the tank brigade, 
the motorized infantry brigade, the artillery, the armored recon- 
naissance unit, and the air reconnaissance unit. 

124. If, in attacking on the move, the commander of the armored 
division decides to use his motorized infantry as the spearhead of 



31 



attack, it will remain in vehicles as long as the enemy and the ter- 
rain permit. After dismounting, its tactics will follow the prin- 
ciples laid down for infantry in the attack. 

As long as the infantry is moving in vehicles, artillery elements 
on self-propelled mounts will follow closely in order to support 
their attack rapidly with observed fire. 

As soon as the enemy's resistance weakens, the motorized 
infantry should return to its vehicles in order to make full use of 
their speed. 

The tank brigade should be held back until it can be used in 
support of the motorized infantry. 
Envelopment should be attempted. 

The antitank battalion accompanies the motorized infantry 
brigade in order to destroy enemy tanks. It may be advisable to 
hold back the greater part of the battalion — frequently in rear of 
the flanks — in order to exploit its speed, mobility, and ability to 
carry out surprise attacks against tanks. If the enemy's resist- 
ance has been broken by the motorized infantry, the antitank 
battalion can be pushed ahead of the foremost infantry in order to 
attack and destroy enemy tanks. Advance artillery observers 
should be assigned for this purpose. 

125. If, after attaining the objectives, the task allotted does not 
involve pursuit, the motorized infantry will hold the ground 
gained, and will be supported by the tank brigade. This will be 
done in accordance with principles laid down for the defense. 

If the attack fails or appears likely to lead to no result, the 
attacking forces should disengage and attack afresh at another 
point. 

126. If the armored division encounters enemy tanks during 
the attack, engaging them must take precedence over all other 
tasks. The tank brigade must quickly find covered positions from 
which it can fire effectively at the halt, while the enemy is com- 
pelled to fight at a disadvantage (attacking over open country, 
against the sun, with the wind). This method is particularly 
recommended when the enemy is superior in numbers of antitank 
weapons. Success in these circumstances can also frequently be 
gained by quick and determined attack, especially against the 
enemy flanks. 

If the enemy is inferior in numbers or armament, or if it is im- 



32 



possible to find a favorable position, a short halt should be made 
during which all armor-piercing weapons should be brought to 
bear on him. The attack should then follow immediately, and 
should, if possible, be supported by some elements firing at the 
halt. 

The rear waves of the tank brigade should be employed as far 
as possible in enveloping attacks against the flanks and rear of the 
enemy tank forces. 

Extensive combat reconnaissance must be carried out by the 
division, especially in the flanks and rear of the tank brigade, to 
insure that the latter is secure from surprise attacks by enemy 
tanks. 

The artillery's task is to attack the enemy tanks while they are 
deploying, breaking up their attack with concentrated fire. 

Section III 

ATTACK FROM AN ASSEMBLY POSITION 

127. The purpose of an assembly position is to enable detailed 
reconnaissance to be carried out, to allow units to take up their 
allotted positions for the battle, and to insure cooperation of all 
arms participating in and supporting the attack. 

128. The assembly area must provide cover against enemy air 
and ground observation; it must be situated far enough forward 
to enable the division to advance in battle order; the artillery 
must be able to carry out its tasks of supporting a break-through 
without changing its positions, and heavy weapons must be able 
to neutralize the enemy defenses, particularly his antitank 
weapons. 

Usually the tank brigade and those parts of the motorized 
infantry which are to follow in vehicles behind the tank advance 
will be held back, so that they remain unexposed to enemy fire 
and can eventually be employed with surprise effect. The more 
thorough the reconnaissance, the longer it is possible to delay the 
approach march and deployment of the tank brigade. If the 
terrain permits the tank brigade to adopt its battle formation 
well in rear of the battle area and to advance in this order, only a 
short halt will be necessary in the assembly area. 

The vehicles of those parts of the division which have previously 



33 



moved into the assembly area must not be allowed to impede 
movement of the tank brigade. 

129. Surprise is assisted if the division moves into its assembly- 
area during dusk or darkness. 

130. Movement into the assembly area and the area itself 
must be protected from enemy reconnaissance and surprise attack. 
Antiaircraft machine-gun units must be assigned for defense 
against enemy reconnaissance and attacking aircraft. 

131. The artillery moves up during the assembly. The 
armored observation battery establishes its sound-ranging and 
flash-spotting posts and plots enemy positions. 

As far as is possible without sacrificing surprise, the engineers 
remove tank obstacles in front of enemy positions and make all 
necessary preparations for removing obstructions. 

The armored signal battalion establishes line communications 
within the division in order to supplement radio communications 
during battle. 

132. The object of the attack is to break through the enemy's 
defensive zone. This object is achieved when the enemy artillery 
is destroyed and the enemy's main line of resistance is so broken 
that the motorized infantry can follow up in vehicles. Only 
after a successful break-through must a distant objective be 
assigned. 

133. If there are tank obstacles or natural antitank defenses in 
front of or within the enemy defensive position, the first stage of 
the attack will be carried out by the motorized infantry alone. 
It advances through the enemy main line of resistance until the 
obstacles barring the tank advance are removed. 

The advance of the tank brigade must be so arranged that when 
obstacles are removed it can penetrate deeply into the main enemy 
defensive zone, accompanied by the motorized infantry^ 

134. If it has been possible to remove obstacles in front of the 
enemy position before the attack, and no obstacles are likely to be 
encountered in the main line of resistance, the attacks of the tank 
brigade and the motorized infantry will be launched simultane- 
ously. By this means the armored division brings all its weapons 
to bear effectively at the decisive moment of attack to destroy the 
enemy's defenses and lend momentum to the advance. 

135. If the terrain is favorable and no tank obstacles have been 



34 



reported, the tank brigade will precede the motorized infantry in 
attack on the enemy position. This assists the movement of the 
motorized infantry to the enemy position, speeds the operation, 
and reduces casualties. 

136. The attack of the tank brigade is carried out according to 
the principles of an attack not preceded by deployment. 

137. Targets against which the artillery is to concentrate its 
fire before and during the attack depend upon the method of 
attack. If the attack is led by the motorized infantry, the main 
effort will be directed against enemy infantry weapons. If tanks 
precede the motorized infantry in the attack, the artillery's main 
task will be to destroy or neutralize with smoke the enemy anti- 
tank weapons. It may be desirable to lay down smoke shortly 
before the attack in order to neutralize enemy observation posts 
and antitank weapons. 

If the enemy is occupying strongly prepared positions, it will 
usually be necessary to lay down an artillery preparation which 
should be preceded by careful target reconnaissance. 

If surprise is to be gained, or if the tactical situation is obscure, 
it is frequently advisable to delay opening fire until enemy 
resistance is encountered, and then to destroy it with concentrated 
fire. As the attack progresses, artillery support is governed by 
the same principles that apply to an attack not preceded by 
deployment. 

138. If the motorized infantry leads the attack, it will have 
armored engineers attached. Elements of the armored engineer 
battalion follow closely behind the motorized infantry brigade to 
clear the way for the tanks following. 

139. The bulk of the antitank battalion will be attached to the 
motorized infantry leading the attack ; elements will be allotted to 
protect movement forward from the assembly positions. 

140. If the armored division attacks through an infantry divi- 
sion, all forces of the infantry division operating in its sector will 
be attached to the armored division. This insures that: 

a. All weapons and troops of the infantry division are concen- 
trated under a unified command in support of the tank attack. 

b. Movements of the armored division and the infantry division 
are coordinated. 

This arrangement will end when the main body of the armored 



35 



division is no longer in contact with the infantry. It will fre- 
quently be necessary for the higher command to hold up move- 
ment of the infantry division in order to allow the armored 
division to continue its advance. 

141. If the armored division is ordered to give fresh momentum 
to an attack by other troops, the attack will be carried out either 
by the tank brigade or simultaneously by the tank brigade and 
the motorized infantry brigade. The attack will be supported by 
the mass of the armored division's artillery and antitank units. 

142. The higher commander will decide whether the whole or 
parts of the division shall be temporarily diverted from the original 
axis of attack in order to widen a breach in the enemy's position. 
Provision will be made to cover the new flank which is thus formed. 

143. If the armored division is ordered to exploit success 
gained by an infantry division with the object of developing it 
into a complete break-through, the attack will always be carried 
out by the tank brigade. The motorized infantry will follow in 
vehicles as closely as possible behind the tank brigade. Strategic 
objectives will be assigned. As it is important not to dissipate 
efforts of the armored division but to maintain strictest concentra- 
tion in view of tasks which remain after the break-through, the 
artillery and other heavy weapons will be employed only insofar 
as they are necessary for completion of the break-through. 



36 



Chapter 9 



PURSUIT 

144. Success must be exploited without respite and with every 
ounce of strength, even by night. The defeated enemy must be 
given no peace. The only factors which must be allowed to cause 
a temporary halt are exhaustion of fuel and ammunition, and 
even then contact must be maintained. The attack must be 
resumed as soon as fresh supplies have been received. 

145. Every effort should be made in pursuit to overtake the 
enemy. If the enemy succeeds in maintaining a front in its with- 
drawal, the armored division must break through the enemy 
resistance at several points and use its speed to occupy ground in 
the path of retreat. The nature of the terrain and strength and 
attitude of the enemy decide whether the tank brigade is to be 
pushed forward in mass formation or in task forces. 

Night attacks are likely to be particularly successful. 

146. If there is danger of losing contact with the enemy, ele- 
ments possessing greater speed, i. e., motorized infantry, motor- 
cyclists, and antitank units, will be employed in the pursuit. In 
this case, engineers will be assigned. If reinforced by equally 
mobile forces, the armored reconnaissance unit can strike swiftly 
and with decisive results. 

147. If the division has penetrated deep into the enemy lines in 
its pursuit, it will establish a system of defense areas for its 
protection at rest and by night. They should be designed to 
enable heavy fire to be directed from every side. 

148. If enemy resistance stiffens, all forces engaged in pursuit 
must be concentrated quickly under unified command for a fresh 
attack. 

149. Strong artillery forces must always move directly behind 
the foremost elements. Strict cooperation with division recon- 
naissance aircraft is essential. Fighter and bomber support 
increase the chances of success. 



37 



Chapter 10 
DEFENSE 

150. If the division is compelled to assume a defensive role, it 
will either attack with limited objectives before the enemy has 
completed his preparations, or it will employ the motorized 
infantry brigade, supported by other arms of the division, keep- 
ing the tank brigade in readiness for a counterattack. 

If the enemy attacks with tanks, the attack of the tank brigade 
will be concentrated against them. The principles laid down 
in paragraph 126 are applicable. 



Chapter 11 
WITHDRAWAL FROM ACTION 

151. Withdrawal from action will often be preceded by an 
attack with limited objectives by the tank brigade. Screened 
by the more mobile infantry, motorcycle, and antitank units, 
first the tanks and then other parts of the division will disengage 
from the enemy. 

If the enemy follows up rapidly with superior forces, especially 
tanks, the division will be screened during disengagement by 
tanks and antitank units, supported by artillery and engineers. 
Smoke can be used to assist disengagement. 

Planning and timely orders are necessary to insure that troops, 
after the first stage of withdrawal on a broad front, are quickly 
and smoothly formed into march columns. Traffic control points 
must be established in advance. 

152. The last troops to be withdrawn will normally be ade- 
quately covered by antitank units reinforced by motorized infan- 
try or motorcyclists. Mines can be laid to assist in the final 
disengagement. In this case there must be close cooperation 
between engineers and the last troops to move. The division 
commander will decide how mines are to be employed. 

153. In the absence of antitank units equipped with self- 
propelled mounts, rear protection will be provided chiefly by 
tank units. 

154. The situation may favor the formation of task forces. 



39 



Chapter 12 



SPECIAL CONDITIONS 
Section I 

ATTACK AGAINST A PERMANENTLY FORTIFIED 

POSITION 

155. If by reason of exceptional circumstances the armored 
division is employed to break through a permanently fortified 
front, the attack will be carried out by the motorized infantry 
brigade reinforced with engineer assault detachments, attached 
infantry units, strong forces of artillery and engineers and will 
follow the principles laid down for Attack against a Perma- 
nently Fortified Front. 

Heavy tanks and heavy antitank guns may be used singly to 
engage loopholes. They will be attached to the motorized 
infantry. Part of the tank brigade may be employed to engage 
enemy forces holding intermediate ground, and to cover the 
advance of assault parties, thereby relieving strain on the artillery. 

The main body of the tank brigade will not be employed until 
tank obstacles have been removed. Its task will be to extend the 
breach achieved by the infantry, and turn it into a complete 
break-through. Search for tank traps and obstacles must be 
carried out deep into the enemy's position in order to prevent 
abortive employment of the tank brigade. 

156. Cooperation with the air force is particularly important 
when the armored division is attacking a permanently fortified 
position. The air force can have a decisive influence on the 
armored division's attack by reconnaissance of targets, bombing 
attacks on enemy fortifications, tank traps, sleeping quarters, 
headquarters, switchboards, and reserves, and by providing 
defense against enemy aircraft. The air force bombardment 
timetable must be coordinated with the fire plan of ground troops. 



40 



Parachutists dropped in or behind the enemy positions can give 
material assistance. 

Close liaison with the air force is essential. Foremost elements 
of the division must be clearly distinguished. There must like- 
wise be no possible doubt regarding the line beyond which the 
division must not advance before the bombing attack. There 
must be air liaison officers provided with all necessary means of 
communication, not only at division headquarters, but also with 
the foremost troops. 

Section II 
ATTACK ACROSS A RIVER 

157. When a river must be crossed in the attack, the motorized 
infantry will first carry out the crossing according to principles 
laid down for the infantry division. Its small numerical strength 
permits attack only on a narrow front. Tanks with heavy guns 
can be sited to fire from cover from the near bank while the cross- 
ing is being made. 

The bridgehead formed on the far side should at first not be 
larger than can safely be held by the division infantry and artillery. 

158. Ferry crossings should be started as soon as possible and 
used to move tank units. The latter will extend the bridgehead so 
that construction of a permanent bridge can begin. 

Antiaircraft machine-gun units must be included in advance 
parties in order to protect the crossing. 

The main body of tanks and those parts of the motorized 
infantry which are not required to establish the bridgehead should 
be kept well in rear in order to keep clear the crossing points 
allotted for vehicles. When the bridge is completed- — and not 
before — they will cross and carry out deep thrusts into the enemy 
lines. The vehicles of troops engaged in the river operation follow 
them. 

159. The division must lay down in detail the order in which 
troops and vehicles are to be ferried or are to cross the bridge. 
Points at which columns are to separate and assembly positions 
must be located well in the rear of crossing points. The division 
commander will appoint officers to regulate traffic at separation 
points. They will prevent other units from using the bridge with- 



41 



out authority of the division. They will have telephone com- 
munication with the bridge and with the troops waiting to cross. 
Commanders of troops which have crossed will see that crossing 
points are quickly freed for the passage of following troops. 

Section III 

FIGHTING IN BUILT-UP AREAS 

160. Except when necessary, tanks should not be employed in 
built-up areas, since their movements are restricted and they are 
easy targets for antitank weapons. When the armored division 
is compelled to fight in a built-up area, the task should be assigned 
to the motorized infantry. As in the case of an attack against a 
permanently fortified front, the motorized infantry may be 
strengthened by single heavy tanks, heavy antitank guns, and 
engineer assault detachments. They give support by engaging 
particularly strongly fortified defense areas. 

Built-up areas can be overcome more rapidly and with fewer 
casualties if smoke is used to blind the enemy, if he is paralyzed by 
artillery and bombing attacks, or if the area is burned down. 
Tank and motorized infantry units following in rear of the first 
wave will be employed to flank the locality and take it from the 
rear. Liaison must be insured between forces carrying out the 
frontal and flank attacks. 

Section IV 

FIGHTING IN WOODS AND MOUNTAINS 

161. Woods and mountains limit the mobility of tanks, interfere 
with their deployment, and appreciably weaken the armored 
division's power of attack. The division should, therefore, avoid 
fighting in woods and mountains. If it has to fight the enemy 
across wooded country and mountains, it must employ the motor- 
ized infantry brigade, reinforced by other arms or task forces. 

To prevent tanks from falling into enemy traps when fighting 
in woods and mountains, especially thorough reconnaissance is 
necessary. 

Fighting in woods and mountains must be conducted in a 
narrow front along roads, but must be in great depth. The 



42 



terrain prevents lateral reinforcement of several combat teams 
attacking along separate routes. 

Employment of engineers assumes increased importance in 
fighting in woods and mountains. 

In particularly difficult country, it may be necessary to hold 
back the tanks in early stages, and to advance protected by 
motorized infantry and by motorcycle troops when the motorized 
infantry has dislodged the enemy. 

Section V 

FIGHTING IN SMOKE AND FOG 

162. In advance and attack in smoke or fog, the armored 
division must rely on tracks and notable features which point the 
direction of the objective. Advance by bounds will frequently be 
necessary. The division must be organized in depth, and units 
must be held in close contact with each other. Even while 
advancing, units must be organized in their battle formations. 
Early allotment of necessary supporting arms and signal 
equipment is essential. 

163. In advancing "deployed and in attacking an enemy un- 
prepared for defense, the tank brigade will lead. Generally 
motorcycle troops will be attached to insure maintenance of 
contact, immediate protection, and close reconnaissance. 

The motorized infantry brigade (following in vehicles) and 
other parts of the division should be accompanied on their flanks 
.by antitank troops. Until the division is equipped with antitank 
guns on self-propelled mounts, this task will be carried out by 
tanks. These will protect the motorized infantry against a 
surprise tank attack and sudden lifting of the fog or smoke. 

164. Against an enemy organized for defense, the attacks will be 
led by the motorized infantry brigade on foot. Tanks and anti- 
tank troops are allotted to motorized infantry on company or 
platoon strength to deal with enemy defense areas. 

165. It will often be desirable to employ task forces in fighting 
in fog and smoke. 



43 



Chapter 13 



REST 

166. Protection at rest is carried out according to principles 
in Field Service Regulations. Sectors giving cover are of special 
importance for the armored division. Wide dispersion simplifies 
camouflage, especially of the numerous vehicles. Mutual sup- 
port must be provided for in event of an enemy attack. 

Protection of rest areas is normally taken over by motorized 
infantry. For this purpose the infantry can be reinforced with 
other troops (antitank units, single guns, and machine-gun units 
attached). Employment of tanks for protection of rest areas 
will be exceptional. 

Protection by mine fields laid by the engineers may be desir- 
able. They must be covered, and must be removed some time 
before the march is resumed. 

Protection against air reconnaissance and attack is the respon- 
sibility of the division antiaircraft machine-gun units. They 
can be supplemented by machine guns. 

167. If possible, rest areas should be chosen in which the work 
of the repair services can be simplified and accelerated by assist- 
ance from existing workshops. The division will therefore seek 
out sites, especially for its full-track or half-track vehicles, in or 
near large villages or towns. 

168. Division of troops- for purposes of quartering into groups 
which fit into the composition of march groups accelerates prepa- 
ration for resumption of the march and reduces movement orders. 



44 



Chapter 14 



SERVICES 

169. Dependence for fighting strength upon the condition of 
vehicles, high gasoline consumption, and the rapidity with which 
supply bases are left behind are factors which have a decisive bear- 
ing upon employment of the division. 

170. Supply services must anticipate tactical and strategical 
demands made upon the division. Elasticity and ability to im- 
provise are required in order to meet the demands of a constantly 
changing situation. 

Close cooperation between the tactical and supply sections of 
the division staff is indispensable. It is of primary importance that 
there should be reliable communications — usually by radio — from 
supply services to the tactical group, to supply services of the 
superior formation, and if possible, to the rear services. 

171. Every endeavor should be made to insure that the division 
goes into action fully supplied. On the march, when contact with 
the enemy is not expected and road conditions permit, it is desir- 
able to send forward strong parties from the rear services — at the 
very least, fuel supply columns and repair and ration units. By 
this means, time necessary for transition from route order to battle 
order is appreciably reduced. 

172. If the situation does not permit service detachments to be 
sent forward, parts of the fuel supply columns, ammunition col- 
umns, medical services, and recovery platoons of workshop com- 
panies should be temporarily incorporated into march columns 
during long moves. Personnel of the services will not move from 
the rest area until the fighting troops are all clear of the area. 
They will then usually move behind in bounds. 

173. During combat the rear services require a strong and force- 
ful leadership. As far as the situation allows, they must maintain 
close contact with the fighting troops in order to spare the latter 



45 



long marches for replenishment of supplies. This also relieves the 
problem of protection and prevents dislocation arising from the 
movements of other troops. 

The division will frequently present long exposed flanks, and 
in a critical situation may be compelled to employ fighting troops to 
protect or even to bring up supplies. In addition, all unit trans- 
port and the services must be able to protect themselves against 
air and ground attacks. 

174. In order to simplify command of the numerous services, it 
will be normal practice to group several units under energetic 
commanders. Composition of these groups will vary with the 
situation. The greater part of the smaller motor transport 
columns and the supply company will usually be under command 
of the division G-4, while the larger motor transport columns for 
fuel supplies will frequently be employed singly. 

175. Not later than the beginning of the battle, motor transport 
columns will be formed, consisting primarily of ammunition 
columns. They may, however, also include parts of the larger 
motor transport columns. Columns with cross-country vehicles 
are particularly suited to this purpose. 

176. If shortage of gasoline occurs during an attack with stra- 
tegic objectives, or during pursuit, it may be advisable to allot all 
of the fuel available to those units which are to play a decisive 
■role in the battle, even at the expense of other units of the division. 

177. Because of its complete mechanization and great distances 
covered by the division, motor transport makes the greatest 
demands upon the supply system. Fuel must be replenished as 
soon as it is expended. The G-4 must at all times have a clear 
picture of the fuel situation, the condition of vehicles, and de- 
mands made upon the workshop company. 

The workshop companies form a special group. They must be 
employed with foresight and according to a strict plan. Repair 
of vehicles on the march and during battle is primarily the re- 
sponsibility of unit repair columns and repair sections. More 
difficult repairs are carried out by the workshop companies. The 
latter can work effectively only under comparatively settled 
conditions, and arrangements should therefore be made for their 
employment for several days in the same place. 

178. Supply of artillery and tank ammunition is the main task 



46 



of the ammunition supply services. Shortages of tank ammuni- 
tion can, in extreme cases, be made good from tanks which have 
been put out of action. The loading of ammunition cranes must 
be adapted to the mission of the armored division and to the 
combat expected. Timely consideration is necessary. 

179. Rapid progress of operations requires special arrange- 
ments to be made for employment of the medical services. Sec- 
tions of the medical services (surgical group, first-aid section, 
ambulances) must be well forward with the fighting troops, and 
medical companies must . be kept in close attendance. Close 
liaison between the division medical units and higher units is 
especially necessary in order that the former may have ready 
information of medical arrangements set up by corps and army 
for rapid evacuation of the wounded. 

180. The armored division is well supplied with iron rations 
and can therefore bridge gaps in the normal ration supply. Fre- 
quently it will be separated by long distances from its field bakery. 
If the supply of bread is thereby endangered, the armored division 
will make early arrangements for bread to be drawn from a 
higher unit. 

181. When particularly heavy strain is imposed upon the supply 
services and every inch of carrying space must be utilized, it will 
frequently be necessary to place the light columns of units either 
wholly or partly under divisional command, and to dispatch them 
directly to delivery points. They may be used also in conjunction 
with unit supply transport. 

182. In view of the rigid organization of the armored division, 
detachment of men and vehicles to guard and evacuate prisoners 
is extremely inconvenient. As a general rule, therefore, the 
armored division will only collect prisoners, leaving troops follow- 
ing in rear to make arrangement for guarding and evacuating them. 



47 



183. In critical situations the armored division may temporarily 
be supplied by air. 1 It must be borne in mind, however, that the 
number of aircraft required is out of all proportion to the volume 
of supplies carried. Provision of supplies by air must, therefore, 
be confined to those parts of the armored division which must be 
supplied without delay in order to carry out their tasks. Air 




transport requires very thorough preparation. Time and place 
at which supplies are to be dropped must be laid down accurately. 
Flat country which provides a clear view, open and easily identified 




from the air, is most suitable. Terrain permitting, it is preferable 
for aircraft to land rather than to drop their supplies from the air. 
Wounded should be evacuated on the return flight. 

1 These photographs show a destroyed Gotha 242 glider of the type that 
has been used for air transport in Africa. It has the following characteristics: 
power, towed by JU 52's; capacity, 4,800 pounds plus pilots and equipment, 
or 23 men plus equipment; armament, positions for 8 machine guns but 
sometimes only 3 or 4 are carried; wing span, 79 feet; over-all length, 52 feet 
6 inches; maximum towed speed, 144 miles per hour; approximate landing 
speed, 70 miles per hour. 



48 

U. S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE : 1942